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Stuart Hall Foundation Scholars and Fellows event

2nd February 2018, Conway Hall London

The first Stuart Hall Scholars and Fellows event took place in London’s Conway Hall on 2 February 2018. Its aim was to assemble all Scholars and Fellows to present their current academic and artistic work and to establish connections and collaborations. It was also an occasion to comprehensively present the mission and vision of the Foundation and its associated persons and organisations on the eve of the First Stuart Hall Public Conversation which was held the day after. 


The Scholars and Fellows event set out with a round table discussion, with professors Claire Alexander, Catherine Hall, Michael Rustin and Gregor McLennan each providing introductory statements on the current importance and legacy of Stuart Hall’s work. All four statements considered Hall’s work with respect to issues of the current conjuncture, heeding one of Stuart Hall’s central principles of conjunctural analysis. 

Claire Alexander took her cue from the seminal work Policing the Crisis to call for a re-engagement with Hall’s work on race and ethnicity in the light of current questions of racial and social identity in an age of newly emerging authoritarian populism. Catherine Hall, taking her work as a historian as a point of departure, focused on the work of thinking historically and conjuncturally. Her central and pressing question was concerned with the challenge of how to teach history (and, more generally, of how to engage responsibly with the past) – and especially the history of British colonial exploitation and racism – in times of Brexit. Michael Rustin and Gregor McLennan both addressed questions of Marxism and Post-Marxism as well as the question of Stuart Hall’s politics. Adopting Hall’s Gramscian take on hegemonic struggle, Rustin tackled ongoing systemic crises and questions of emerging new forms of domination and counter-hegemony, while McLennan examined Hall’s “non-doctrinal” Marxism to address problems of historical materialism and the continuing relevance of structural analyses of capitalism in an age of increasing pluralization.

In the following plenary discussion, these issues were taken up by the audience. Audience members shared their points of view on questions of cultural studies and politics – especially with an eye on academic practice within institutions. With delegates coming from different national and institutional backgrounds (among others, from the UK, US, Jamaica, Germany and Finland) and their respective academic and political frameworks, the conversation steered towards a debate about researchers’, teachers’ and practitioners’ options for politically conscious work within academic institutions.

The discussion was followed by a panel on which scholars and fellows could present their current work. Despite the considerable range and variety of the scholars and fellows’ work (from the fields of cultural, literary and media studies, art history and performance art), it was clear that the themes of the previous discussion reverberated in their work. The presentations also showed the various contexts within which Stuart Hall’s ideas, methods and theories are currently applied and developed further.

Event summary written by Mark Schmitt

Agenda
Name

10.00   

Introductions


10.30   

Round table discussion 

Professor Claire Alexander, Professor Catherine Hall, Professor Michael Rustin and Professor Gregor McLennan 


12.00   

Lunch break


13:00   

Ruth Ramsden (Merton College, Oxford) 

The Coloured Queens: Drag Performance in Cape Coloured Communities from 1950 to the Present.


13:25   

Priya Sharma (Goldsmiths, University of London)  

Cultural Production of the South Asian Digital Diaspora: An Introduction


13:50   

Petrina Dacres (Harvard University)


14:15   

Coffee Break


14:45   

Mark Schmitt (University of Dortmund) 

Lost Futures? An Archaeology of Counter-Hegemonic Futures in Britain


15:10   

Matt Martin (Birkbeck, University of London) 

"We always look as if we’re disappearing”: Missed Connections between the Caribbean Artists Movement and the British Poetry Revival


15:35   

Jade Montserrat (The University of Central Lancashire) 

Art in the Service of Life


16:00   

Open discussion


Presentations

Michael Rustin, Catherine Hall, Gregor McLennan and Claire Alexander
Round Table Discussion
The Stuart Hall Foundation Scholars and Fellows event set out with a round table discussion, with professors Cla...
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Mark Schmitt  |  Technical University of Dortmund
Lost Futures? An Archaeology of Counter-Hegemonic Futures in Britain
Mark Schmitt's (Technical University of Dortmund) talk Lost Futures? An Archaeology of Counter-Hegemonic Futures...
Read More
Matt Martin  |  Birkbeck, University of London
We always look as if we’re disappearing: Missed Connections between the Caribbean Artists Movement and the British Poetry Revival
Matt Martin's (Birkbeck, University of London) talk given at the Stuart Hall Foundation Fellows and Scholars eve...
Read More
Jade Montserrat  |  The University of Central Lancashire
Art in the Service of Life
Artist Jade Montserrat's (The University of Central Lancashire) talk Art in the Service of Life given at the Stu...
Read More